Year 10 Assignment – Vietnam
- Vietnam veterans and families
The impact of the Vietnam War on soldiers and their families has been huge especially in the first 15 to 20 years after they returned home. There has never been full recognition or a ‘celebration’ committed to the bravery, sacrifice and honour of the Australian soldiers of Vietnam. I feel it is far too late to have one now as the damage of just forgetting about these brave men and women has already been done.
From 1962 to 1972 Australia was involved in the Vietnam War. A total of 47,000 Australians served in that time and suffered the long-lasting and horrible penalties of the Vietnam carnage. This war was almost completely different to the wars that came before it. Vietnam didn’t just have a huge impact on the soldiers who fought but the whole Australian society as well it has left long-lasting effects on the nation and probably will continue to for years to come.
Two interviews I looked at were conducted by Tahlia Hennessy with both Mr Peter Sheehan and Ms Tina Barnes for an oral investigation conducted in 2004, Perth WA. Mr Sheehan, a Vietnam Veteran, revealed that the tragedy of Vietnam proved to bring to mind remarkably different responses from Australian society compared to previous wars. He clearly expressed his belief that the sacrifice, honour and bravery of the Vietnam soldiers was not, and still is not, fully recognised by society and not ‘celebrated’ as such. Ms Barnes, a university student living in England at the time of war, was most definitely 'appalled by the circumstances of Vietnam like many of her generation'.
The reason for Australia’s involvement in Vietnam was due to the Second World War and as Australia again and again had to rely on America as its main defensive ally and a stronger relationship between these two countries emerged. So when America became involved in Vietnam in 1962 Sir Robert Menzies saw it as Australia’s duty to go and join...